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Darwin Correspondence Project
"Darwin C R" in search-correspondent [X]
1860::11 in date [X]
Darwin, C. R. in addressee [X]
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From Charles Lyell   [before 20 November 1860]


Discusses the possibility of a land-bridge connecting Biscay with Ireland and the consequent occurrence in southern Ireland of Asturian plants which are absent from England.

Asks if Hooker or anyone has criticised Edward Forbes’ botanical migration of five floras in the British Isles ["On the connexion between the distribution of existing fauna and flora of the British Isles, and the geological changes which have affected their area", Mem. Geol. Surv. G. B. 1 (1846): 336–432].

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 20 Nov 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 170.2: 80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2902

From Edward Cresy   10 November 1860


Explains discrepancies in weights and measures caused by changes since 1836 in apothecaries’ measures.

EC has found that a discrepancy in A. W. von Hofmann’s experiments with iodine solutions resulted from an error in Hofmann’s use of decimals.

Reports S. P. Woodward’s opinion of the Origin: "a very sad book, it unsettles all one’s religious principles and the worst of it is so much of it is true".

Author:  Edward Cresy, Jr
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 7, 9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2980

From Trenham Reeks   15 November 1860



Sends weights of three objects (blotting paper, thread, and hair) to within 1/1000 of a grain.

Author:  Trenham Reeks
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 10–11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2984

From Daniel Oliver   23 November 1860



Dr Hooker has given him CD’s memorandum on the fly-catcher.

Copies out extract from Curtis’ Botanical Magazine [On Apocynum androsæmifolium, 8 (1794): tab.]: 280 and gives a further reference in Erasmus Darwin’s The loves of plants [1789]. Suggests that they look at Apocynum.

Author:  Daniel Oliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 157a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2995A

From Charles Lyell   24 November 1860


CL has calculated that elevation and subsidence of certain formations in Sweden and Norway take place at the rate of 2 1/2 feet per century. He now proposes to estimate the age of a bed by including a conjecture that pauses occur in the oscillations in the ratio of 4 periods of stasis to one of movement. Applying this formula to Scotland, the last subsidence and re-elevation would be 590,000 years and the age of the beds with human implements would be 20,000 years.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 40–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2996A

From J. D. Hooker   [26 November – 4 December 1860]



Encourages CD’s work in vegetable physiology.

Ascending the Lebanon JDH noted limits of plant distribution as CD requested: lower limits of a genus sharper than upper. Sharpness of boundaries related to a plant’s moisture requirement.

Impressed by "sporadic" distribution at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [26 Nov – 4 Dec 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 158–60
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3000

From Charles Lyell   30 November 1860


Satisfied that CD finds his conjectured rate of elevation and long periods of stasis reasonable, even if these periods cannot be estimated. Explaining upheaval by subterranean lava flow makes these pauses plausible. Suspects that mountainous areas move more than lowland and coastal areas. General upheavals or subsidence in Europe in glacial period are unlikely. Believes with Jamieson that there was glacial action in Scotland before its submergence and that it was equally mountainous then. Subterranean upheaval visits different countries by turn. Horizontal Silurian strata must have been submerged and upheaved. Rest has always been the general surface character. Believes, however, that the quantity of late Tertiary movement is against CD’s belief in the constancy of continents and oceans: perhaps since the Miocene period, but not since the Cretaceous.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 49–57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3001A

From E. A. Darwin   12 November [1860–8]


Sends the tithes.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Nov [1860-8]
Classmark:  DAR 105: B11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4340
Document type
letter (8)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
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